Medical Records Technician Online or On-campus | Institute of Medical and Business Careers

Medical Records Technician

Associate in Specialized Technology (A.S.T.) Degree Online, In Erie or Pittsburgh, PA

You understand why it’s important to be organized and keep accurate records. You also want to work in a medical environment, understand the importance of confidentiality, and appreciate technology.


Program Length: 1.5 Years1
Format: Online or On-Campus
Course Length: 6 Weeks
Average Class Size: 25 or Less
Job Outlook: Growth Faster than Average2

IMBC Student Stories

Latisha Hawthorne Headshot

"My biggest fear about taking my program online was not being able to stay focused. But, IMBC’s online instructors stayed in constant contact with me to ensure that I never missed an assignment. Taking my program online gives me the flexibility for a full time job while taking care of my two children. Now, I can’t wait for the future."

Latisha Hawthorne
IMBC Medical Records Technician Online Student

Medical Records Technicians, or “MRTs” manage medical records for lab tests, x-rays, and more. They assign ICD-10 codes to each diagnosis and procedure that determines costs and payments for hospitals, clinics, physicians, and nursing homes.

Medical records are computer-based, so you will learn how to use software for record keeping and how to help offices run efficiently.

As a student in this program, you’ll learn about the preparation, maintenance, and security of patient medical records. You will develop core medical knowledge such as medical terms, anatomy, and physiology. Students will explore electronic healthcare records (EHR) and the systems used to store and manage them.

Since this is an associate degree program, you will also take general education courses such as psychology, public speaking, and more.

Toward the completion of your program all students will participate in an internship (campus students) or practicum (online students) that lets you practice and observe in a real healthcare setting with professional supervision. Some medical internship sites and employers may require a criminal background check. Please speak with your admissions representative prior to enrolling in this program if a background check presents an obstacle for you.

Finally, upon the successful completion of your program, you will be prepared to seek a certification to demonstrate your mastery of the course material. There are three optional certifications:

  • The Nationally Registered Certified Coding Specialist (NRCCS), administered by the National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP)
  • The Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS), administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • CPR certification

Certification exams are not required for employment. For Pittsburgh and Erie students, the costs are included in your program; for online students, the cost of the certification exams are paid for by IMBC, when the student qualifies and meets the IMBC guidelines. Employers understand students passing voluntary, third-party, certification exams validate their competencies, skills, and abilities in the specialized field of study. IMBC believes students passing certification exams have a more competitive employment advantage for being hired over students with no certification.

Typical courses in the Medical Records Technician Online Associate Degree Program:

Required Courses

  • Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Electronic Health Records   
  • Physician Billing and Coding
  • Disease Processes
  • Procedural Coding
  • Diagnostic Coding I
  • Advanced Diagnostic Coding II
  • Insurance Billing
  • Medical Terminology I
  • Medical Terminology II
  • Medical Office Administrative Procedures

Program Related Electives

  • Introduction to Computers using Microsoft Word
  • Keyboard I
  • Medical Law and Ethics
  • Advanced Microsoft Word
  • Introduction to Microsoft Excel
  • Clinical Skills for Medical Assistants I3
  • Clinical Skills for Medical Assistants II3

General Education Electives

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Critical Thinking, Reading & Writing
  • Communication for Career Success

Career Preparation Courses

  • Professional Development
  • Practicum (Online)
  • Internship (Campus)

Top questions about the medical records technician training and career outcomes:

  1. What does a Medical Records Technician do?
    Medical Records Technicians, or “MRTs” manage medical records for lab tests, x-rays, and more. They assign ICD-10 codes to each diagnosis and procedure that determines costs and payments for hospitals, clinics, physicians, and nursing homes.
  2. What types of places does a Medical Record Technician work at?
    Medical Records Technicians (MRTs) might work at one of the following organizations: h
    ospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, home health services, insurance firms that deal with health matters, or public health departments.
  3. What is EHR?
    EHR stands for Electronic Healthcare Record. It’s a term that is used to describe how patient records are stored, organized, secured and retrieved using computers. It is believed that digitizing healthcare records can improve patient outcomes by making the records more accessible to care providers and practitioners who can better coordinate care; and also reducing errors by eliminating issues such as poor handwriting, lost or incomplete records, and more.
  4. How long is the Medical Records Technician Associate degree program?
    Most students will typically complete the Medical Records Technician Associate degree program in about a year-and-a-half. 
    However, your actual time will vary depending on your academic progress, success, the number of courses you take and other factors.
  5. What should I look for in a top school for Medical Records Technician training?
    Consider your options carefully by ensuring your school is accredited to ensure the program meets generally accepted academic standards. Look for a school that fits your schedule, work-life balance, and can provide you the support you need such as tutoring and career services. And finally, find out if your school will prepare you for taking any necessary certifications as well as cover those exam costs.
  6. What is the practicum or internship for the Medical Records Technician training?
    Toward the completion of your program all students will participate in an internship (campus students) or practicum (online students) that lets you practice and observe in a real healthcare setting with professional supervision.
  7. What is the certification exam in the Medical Records Technician program?
    Upon the successful completion of your program, you will be prepared to seek a certification to demonstrate your mastery of the course material. There are three optional certifications in your program:

    • The Nationally Registered Certified Coding Specialist (NRCCS), administered by the National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP)
    • The Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist (CEHRS), administered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
    • CPR certification

Costs of the certifications are included in your program for students at Pittsburgh and Erie; For online students, the cost of the certification exams are paid for by IMBC, when the student qualifies and meets the IMBC guidelines.

Graduates of this program are prepared to seek entry-level employment as a medical records technician in the following types of organizations:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Home health services
  • Insurance firms that deal with health matters
  • Public health departments

Some medical internship and employment sites may require a criminal background check prior to attending the practicum site. Please speak with your admissions representative prior to enrolling in this program if a background check presents an obstacle for you. Students may need to relocate to obtain gainful employment.

Students are encouraged to take nationally recognized certification exams upon the successful completion of their program. The cost of the certifications are included in your program. Certification exams are not required for employment; however, employers understand students passing voluntary, third-party, certification exams validate their competencies, skills, and abilities in the specialized field of study. IMBC believes students passing certification exams have a more competitive employment advantage for being hired over students with no certification.

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Education4, it is expected that 27,800 new jobs in this field will be created between 2016 and 2026. As of 2016, there were approximately 206,300 people employed in this field.

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By submitting the information you have provided, you agree that IMBC or its authorized agents may contact you by phone, email, and text message via automated systems to provide you with information about training opportunities at the phone numbers you provided above, including any wireless number(s). You are under no obligation to consent to automated contact to enroll. Alternatively to submitting this form you may call us at 855.773.0758. Note that all calls are recorded for quality assurance.

By submitting the information you have provided, you agree that IMBC or its authorized agents may contact you by phone, email, and text message via automated systems to provide you with information about training opportunities at the phone numbers you provided above, including any wireless number(s). You are under no obligation to consent to automated contact to enroll. Alternatively to submitting this form you may call us at 855.773.0758. Note that all calls are recorded for quality assurance.

  1. This figure represents the typical length a program takes to complete. However, your actual program completion time may vary based upon your academic progress, course progression and any breaks.
  2. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Qualifies for a minor in Medical Assisting
  4. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm